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Do you have questions about ridesharing, what it is, where to start, tips, tricks, tools of the trade? Well, you’ve come to the right place. On this page, we will try to answer all your questions, and give you other valuable information not covered on our other pages.
If you have a question not covered below or elsewhere on the Rideshare College site, we would, of course, love to hear it. Simply go to the Contact Us page. After we get your message, we will not only shoot you a private response, we will also consider posting your questions on this page. Don’t be shy, we can help you.
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Q: What is the difference between a taxi and ridesharing?
A: Taxis are usually marked and are commercially owned vehicles. So, the visible difference is that, unless the driver specifically displays that he/she is a rideshare driver and associated with a rideshare company, the rider may not know that he/she is in a privately-owned car and not a taxi. Also, usually a taxi ride is a one-shot deal, you need a ride home after a night out and one-too-many drinks with friends; you’re not likely to see that same driver ever again. So while that person is going to make sure that you get from point A to point B, they are not usually concerned about keeping you on a schedule or giving you water, a mint or a tissue for your pollen allergies. In fact, that taxi driver is usually going to either take more time than needed, or a less-direct route, just to run up the clock, and thus increase your fare amount.
Q: Are rideshare drivers associated with a company or with a taxi service?
A: Reputable rideshare drivers are associated with a rideshare company. It is through the company that drivers and riders are matched.
Q: Are the drivers paid professionals?
A: Generally rideshare drivers are people who are driving as a second income, and who come from a wide variety of backgrounds in both traditional blue-collar and white-collar jobs. There are some drivers who have been able to make driving a full-time job. These are usually people who drive for more than one company and/or who have discovered the tricks of making driving a great career. They also have a deep drive and commitment to what they are doing and their success.
Q: Who are the rideshare companies?
A: Rideshare companies, very basically, are people who have created a way to connect riders with drivers through online or phone-based applications. They handle all the major advertising and obtaining of corporate investors and they make everything work “behind the scenes”. There are quite a few rideshare companies in the industry right now, catering to a variety of riders and drivers. However, in the United States, there are 3 major companies in the rideshare marketplace: Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.
Q: What are the benefits of being a rider of a rideshare driver instead of a taxi?
A: The most important reason is because usually the rideshare company is much cheaper than a taxi. Also, most of what you do pay for the rideshare driver goes to that driver instead of into a taxi company’s vault. Also, you are able to more easily schedule your ride through the online or phone app, instead of having to call a taxi dispatch and wait for the closest car to get to you. You usually can get a ride from someone very close to your neighborhood, whether at work or home or out about town. And with the different companies, you can sometimes schedule a ride with someone who shares the same interests or taste in music. You may make a new friend!
Q: How do I pay to be a rider?
A: All payments for your ride are made by credit/debit card either online or through an app on your mobile device. Payment options vary by the company, and all arrangements are made directly with the company, not with us, and not with the driver. It is always recommended that, as with a taxi, you tip your driver with cash, if he/she has provided an enjoyable and/or timely service. Other than that tip, there is no need for you to carry cash. Likewise, the driver usually carries either no or very little cash.
Q: Is ridesharing safe?
A: Ridesharing is very safe, more safe actually, than taking a taxi. Because you have already made payment arrangements with the rideshare company, you need not carry cash (except that tip). Your driver is going to be someone who would want you to not only recommend him/her to your family and friends, but also possibly become a regular rider with him/her. Thus he/she is probably going to go over and above a taxi driver to make sure that you are safe, you are comfortable and that you thoroughly enjoy your ride. Moreover, the rideshare companies take personal information from their drivers in order to do background checks, from driving records and accidents or DUI’s to even criminal checks.
Q: OK, I’m convinced. How do I become a rider?
A: Very easy.
If online, go to the links below and register. Then follow the prompts to schedule your ride.
If on a smartphone or an iPhone, go to the app store and download the application for Uber, Lyft and/or Sidecar. Then, as with online, set up your account and schedule your ride from your phone.
Q: What if I want to be a driver?
A: That process is easy as well, although a little more time consuming. As with signing up to be a rider, you register to be a driver either online or through the app on your mobile device. You will need more information:
A vehicle – the make, model and year eligibility depends on the company you sign up with and the area where you reside. Each company has the requirements listed on their web sites;
Q: What if I don’t have a car or I don’t want to use my own car?
A: A great question, and just as easy to answer as all the previous questions. Please visit our other pages: Using Your Vehicle and Buying VS Leasing. We have put together information which will help guide you toward this decision. We also can help you to obtain a vehicle to get started on your new driving adventure.
Q: What if I have another job and I can’t drive all the time?
A: You choose the hours you can drive. If you work during the day, Monday through Friday, then you can choose to work just 1 night, or every night of the week. You can also work all weekend if you so desire; just make sure to get some sleep in between your shifts! Likewise, if you work a regular shift at night, you can be a rideshare driver during the day.
Q: Are there special benefits to being either a rider or a driver?
A: There certainly are! We’ve done research and have put together a Current Referral Programs page, where you can find information about special referral programs offered. Another exciting prospect for you to consider is listed on our Current Referral Programs page; you can actually get paid to sign up drivers. Read through the conditions there and start thinking of your family and friends who might enjoy being a rideshare driver, either full time or in their spare time.